American Carnage: An interview with editor and contributor Paul Brian McCoy

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting interviews with the contributors to the American Carnage anthology (my review is here). All five writers agreed to be interviewed, which I’m super excited about. Please note: discussion is welcomed, but keep it respectful. I’ll be monitoring the comments.
Note: The interviews are fairly long.
Also note: answers are unedited/uncensored/unwhathaveyou. My comments are (sometimes) interspersed, but other than that, all answers, thoughts, and opinions are from the authors.
I’m starting the interview series with my interview with Paul Brian McCoy, the mastermind of the anthology, and the author of the final story. He’s also the editor-in-chief of both Psycho Drive-In and PDI Press.
Ready? Here we go!
First, tell us a bit about yourself. Any fun and interesting factoids?
My name is Paul Brian McCoy and I’ve been writing fiction off and on since I was in high school and realized it was easier to write stories than to draw them. Up until then, I’d wanted to draw comics. After getting my Masters in English and going ABD for a Doctorate, I started writing reviews for Comics Bulletin. That eventually evolved into editing their TV/Movies section, which eventually evolved into launching my own site, Psycho Drive-In as CB’s sister site. This is where I connected (and in some cases, re-connected) with all the Psychos involved in AMERICAN CARNAGE: TALES OF TRUMPIAN DYSTOPIA and our previous short story anthology NOIRLATHOTEP: TALES OF LOVECRAFTIAN CRIME.
Tell us more about Psycho Drive-In and PDI Press.
Psycho Drive-In basically is like Belial from BASKET CASE, the monstrous creature that I carry around with me everywhere, that lashes out at movies, TV, and other things that cross me! But in the end, Psycho Drive-In is just looking for love and acceptance in the freak community. (Editor’s note: we love you! I think ICoS and Psycho Drive-In could be great friends.)
We broke off from Comics Bulletin mainly because there was just too much writing going on. We had people reviewing TV shows and movies on a regular basis, while the comics side of the site was also cranking out continuous great stuff, so nothing was staying on the front page very long. It was like cooking in a galley kitchen; meals get made and they’re delicious, but everybody keeps bumping elbows during the cooking process and there’s just not enough room to breathe. Since Comics Bulletin wasn’t called TV and Movie Bulletin, the then-Owner/Editor-in-Chief, Jason Sacks, and I built a new site and ported over nearly all the old coverage, so we wouldn’t be stepping on each other’s toes any more.
We launched on Valentine’s Day, 2014 and started out covering just about anything and everything, but after a couple of years of no real audience growth we decided to switch our focus to mostly horror with a side of sci-fi (and hints of other genre coverage, like Shakespearean adaptations, Film Noir, and Superheroes). In the past year or so we’ve also shifted away from publishing a lot of TV coverage, since there’s just so much of that on the web. So we haven’t been posting as much, but we’ve really started building an audience, nearly doubling our traffic this year over last.
The biggest reason for this is that our writers are some of the best you can find on the internet. The contributors to AMERICAN CARNAGE all have done amazing work for Psycho Drive-In. Dan Lee has a great little column called Beautiful Creatures, about practical effects in horror films. John E. Meredith has two ongoings, Popcorn Cinema and The Flesh is Weak, that are sometimes heartbreakingly beautiful and sometimes hilariously vulgar explorations of film and life. Rick Shingler is currently checking out some overlooked gems of Shakespearean adaptation in Everybody Dies: Shakespeare on Film, and the ever-eclectic Mike Burr touches on a little bit of everything when he gets the chance.
And that’s just the guys included in AMERICAN CARNAGE! We have a ton of other writers who are so much better than they have any right to be.
PDI Press grew out of two things: the fact that most of our writers are frustrated authors as well as being talented critics, and the fact that it costs money to host the website with little-to- no ad revenue. The name NOIRLATHOTEP is a Lovecraftian pun that I couldn’t believe nobody had used yet, so last year, I asked if anyone would be interested in contributing a Lovecraftian-themed short crime story to a fund-raising anthology, and everybody perked up. I had already e-published some old columns in book format and they brought in a few bucks each month, but nothing serious, so I knew we could probably at least make ten or fifteen dollars every couple of months to help my suffering finances. Little did I know that NOIRLATHOTEP: TALES OF LOVECRAFTIAN CRIME would be more popular than anything else I’d tried selling.
It’s still not a best-seller, but it’s paying our cyber-rent. Which is partly why I figured that even if we don’t make any money on the admittedly controversial AMERIAN CARNAGE, we’d still be doing okay. And now we have a publication track record that should be of benefit when we launch our Kickstarter for NOIRLATHOTEP 2: SUBTITLE YET TO BE DETERMINED, later this Spring. It’s damn time these folks got paid for their hard work.
At the moment we hope to publish at least two more short story anthologies this year, with maybe a collection or two of critical essays sprinkled here and there, since the non-fiction writers on the site want to get in on the act, too. Everyone wants to see their name on Amazon.
Tell us a bit about your writing. Are you usually a fiction writer, or did you make an exception for this anthology?
I had always considered myself a fiction writer (and self-loathing poet), but after grad school I just didn’t write any fiction. Instead I tried to apply the critical theory that I’d learned to writing comics, TV, and film criticism. But in 2011, I self-published my first novel, THE UNRAVELING: DAMAGED INCORPORATED, BOOK ONE, followed shortly by a collection of short stories made up of my Master’s Thesis project, called COFFEE, SEX, & CREATION.
Since then, though, I hadn’t really done any creative writing. I’d tried to get a number of projects started, both solo and with others, but everything always fell apart. It wasn’t until our second year at Psycho Drive-In that I was able to hook up with a group of writers who all had a passion for weird fiction and no professional outlet. A group of talented amateurs, if you will. Their enthusiasm helped get me motivated to start writing again, and we put together a collection of Lovecraftian crime stories that has turned out to be pretty popular for what is essentially a self-published book of stories by writers nobody’s ever heard of before. My own writing is generally about weirdness and normal people getting sucked into bizarre situations. I have a strange mix of classic and trashy influences, from Salman Rushdie to Philip K. Dick, with a lot of sci-fi TV mixed in along with a healthy dose of John Waters and Troma films.
Speaking of the anthology, what drew you to it? Why did you decide to submit a story?
When President Trump made reference to “American Carnage” in his inauguration speech, I knew we had to do something with it. It’s such a powerful phrase, both in the fact that it’s so out of touch with reality and that it conjures up such vivid images. It immediately makes me think of Death Wish 3 or Invasion USA in terms of pure cheesy, 80s exploitation film ideologies. So I pitched the idea to our crew and since we’re mostly a bunch of left-leaning creative types, there was a lot of excitement.
For an added twist, I thought why not make every story’s title a title to a classic punk song (and in one case, a GWAR song). I wanted to use those songs as spiritual and creative inspiration without actually doing adaptations. The titles were springboards for what everybody put together.
Tell us about your story. What inspired you to write it?
I had originally intended to write something Queercore, but the idea I originally had (a trans reimagining of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, with a dose of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and Neo-Nazis) just wouldn’t come together on the page. Then, I started getting the other stories in and realized that they were much better than I’d expected. So much so, that I thought we might need something more off the deep end to really round out the collection. I mean, John’s story, “What Kind of Monster Are You?” was closest to my
original vision for the collection, but even it is just so damn good that once the craziness starts, there’s still a veneer of quality that avoids going full Troma.
So, since I had characters in my novel who could enter into dreams, I thought, what could be trashier than diving into Trump’s subconscious mind? After that realization, my story practically wrote itself. It’s easily the weakest story in the group from a literary standpoint, but it’s also the most likely to get its author put on a watch list.
Basically, “Big Takeover” is inspired by the Bad Brains song, and involves Damaged, Incorporated – the dream aliases of a group of fringe-science defenders of reality who originated in my novel THE UNRAVELING. We have two psychics who don’t get along, and their boss, a brain in a jar – with back-up from a benevolent AI – who receive a warning from Kennedy’s Brain that something is wrong with the current President’s brain. It could be brainwashing, it could be possession, it could be a stroke. But in order to find out what’s going on, and decide whether it’s a threat to national – and international –
security, they adopt their alter-ego fiction suits and dive into Trump’s unconscious mind. It’s gross. It’s repulsive. It’s, as the characters put it, “Mucky as fuck” in there, but ultimately I thought it was fun.
My mantra when coming to every scene was what would Lloyd Kaufman (founder of Troma Films) do? I think he’d be proud.
The anthology is about a Dystopian world (with or without aliens). Do you think that we’re closer to an apocalypse or a Dystopian society now than we have been in the past? Or are we already on our way there, without even realizing it?
I think all Dystopian Fiction is really about the contemporary society in which it’s created, so in a way, we’ve always been living in a Dystopian world whether we realize it or not. Life is difficult and freedom is more of a state-of-mind than an actual reality for the vast majority of people on the planet. There aren’t zombies or aliens, but the US has a president with reading comprehension issues, an inability to feel empathy, and little-to-no practical knowledge about anything going on in the world.
He also has tiny hands and a micro-penis.
In the US, we have the illusion of freedom, but we have also had a dramatic militarization of the police, a war on people of color that’s been going on for a couple of centuries, and now neo-Nazis feel safe creeping out of the woodwork and claiming that their toxic ideology is as intellectually valid – or moreso – than those who oppose them. Then we have the Left is saying that Nazis should be engaged in the “marketplace of ideas” despite the fact that their ideas are pure hate and the advocation of genocide. I mean, asserting that Anti-Fascists are the real fascists is straight out of 1984.
There’s been a disconnect with reality and the real fascism has already gotten a foothold, marching lockstep with the 1%. Things look bleak.
Things have gotten a little…heated in recent times, especially when it comes to politics. Have you gotten any pushback or criticism because of the anthology’s theme?
Honestly, we’re so small that we’re not even a blip on anyone’s radar. We’ve had one or two Instagram followers get offended, but not even in a very hostile way. We have had promotional opportunities turned down from a few Facebook sci-fi and horror pages, which is perfectly understandable. Just sharing the Amazon link for AMERICAN CARNAGE violates a lot of pages “No Politics” rule, so what can you do?
I’m super-excited that you offered to review the book and are taking the time to talk with us about it! (Editor’s note: I admit, I was drawn to the anthology because of the theme. I’m glad I read it, because I really enjoyed it. I’m super excited that the contributors agreed to an interview!)
When you think about the future, is Future Earth a scary or an optimistic place? Or have we, perhaps, already wiped ourselves out and this is a moot point?
I think it’s always going to be a combination of the two. Even in the face of the worst that humanity has to offer, there’s always a reaction. There’s always the urge to create alongside the urge to destroy. There’s always love and heroism to counter hate and cowardice. Somebody’s always going to raise their fist or fly the black flag to oppose oppression. It’s always going to be a struggle. It’s always going to be a fight. That’s the way it’s always been.
Of course, if we do wipe ourselves out, it’ll probably be for the best.
Since ICoS is all about survival, do you think you’d be more likely to survive an alien invasion or a zombie apocalypse?
An alien invasion, for sure. With an alien invasion, there’s a definite goal in mind. It may be difficult, or nearly impossible, but aliens will have a purpose for being here, which means there will always be a resistance and the potential for victory and survival.
With a zombie apocalypse, there’s no end in sight. Zombies represent the inevitability of death (among other things, depending on one’s perspective) and nobody escapes death.
What’s your favorite apocalyptic scenario?
Having just said the zombie apocalypse is one where I’d most surely not survive, I have to say my favorite fictional apocalyptic scenario is… the zombie apocalypse. I think that it is the most existential exploration of meaning and value available in any apocalyptic scenario. Confronting the notion that death is inevitable and there’s no escape, only the biding of time until the end, is one of the most vivid and disturbing ideas that the human mind can engage with.
The central thematic tenets of zombie fiction, no matter how poorly it is pulled off in low-budget film or cheap novels, is the psychological impact of death and loss. Even when zombie fiction ignores real psychology and concentrates on splatter and gore, that is also a valid way of addressing death and loss. Mourning with a chainsaw. Raging against the wave of inevitability with pure escapism. Of course, the best zombie fiction does it all: Night of the Living Dead, Dead Alive, Shawn of the Dead… these films really understand both the surface and the subtextual impact of their storytelling.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself or your writing?
Just to let everybody know that there is more Psycho Drive-In madness on the way! We’re getting the plans in place for a Kickstarter to finance NOIRLATHOTEP 2 and are hoping to get a collection of R-Rated Space Opera stories (tentatively titled STARSHIP BALLERS) in print later this year. With any luck I’ll also have the second DAMAGED INCORPORATED novel finished this year and maybe an indie comic adaptation, too!
You can find me on Facebook at /paul.b.mccoy, on Twitter at @PBMcCoy, and Instagram at @paulbrianmccoy. Be sure to follow Psycho Drive-In on FB at /psychodrivein, on Twitter at @psychodrivein, and Instagram at @psychodrivein. And of course, hit us up at http://psychodrivein.com for the best reviews and commentary on the internet about genre film and television.

Anthology Review: American Carnage

american carnage cover
American Carnage: Tales of Trumpian Dystopia
Editors: Paul Brian McCoy and Jennifer King
Publisher: PDI Press
Format: Kindle (paperback available)
Full disclosure: I’m friends with one of the editors who worked on this project, and I learned about the book through her. I received the book as a gift from my friend (not the publisher), but opinions are my own. I am not being compensated for this review.
Note: the underlying theme of this book has the potential to become controversial. Please be respectful when commenting on the review and any future interviews with the authors and/or editors.
Another note: because of the topic, this book is quite likely going to be a love it or hate it book. Be forewarned!
Warning: possible spoilers. I try not to include spoilers, but I’m going to put this here anyway.
Okay, now to the actual review. (Ha!)
American Carnage: Tales of Trumpian Dystopia is a short story anthology from indie publisher PDI Press. (PDI Press is the publishing arm of website Psycho Drive-In.) My understanding of the anthology is that it was developed with a sort of punk rock dystopian theme, centered around an apocalypse brought about by the current US administration. (Let’s face it, anything apocalyptic is bound to catch my attention — the musical part just made it more interesting.)
Five stories are included in the collection; there are a couple of longer stories, but the other three are fairly short. It’s a super fun read, though; it’s been an interesting “what if?” exercise. (Okay, so some of it is less likely than others, but I guess anything’s possible. Or something.)
The five included stories are: What Kind of Monster Are You?; The Day the Earth Turned Day-Glo; None But the Brave; Where Eagles Dare; and Big Takeover. The stories are all quite different in tone; some are more serious than others. The writing in all of the stories was solid, and they all follow the same basic theme. It was really interesting to see how each writer interpreted the anthology’s theme and premise — I can honestly say that no two stories are anywhere near alike.
The opening story, What Kind of Monster Are You?, is the longest, but it’s also the most fun (and, um, the goriest). For me, this one captured the musical part of the anthology’s theme the most — it also has its own soundtrack since the main character listens to a quite a bit of music throughout the story. It’s got an alien invasion of evil space octopi who regrow tentacles like a president-faced Hydra. It was very…splatter-y. And absolutely bananapants bonkers, but in a totally fun way. The best part of this story is the dialogue: the writer used actual presidential quotes for the Trump-alien’s dialogue, and it is hysterical in the context of the story. It was also a brilliant idea to use actual, existing quotes. After all, why reinvent the wheel?
My favorite story, though, is the much “quieter” When the Earth Turned Day-Glo. This story is set in the near future, after the current administration has ended. Humans have colonized the moon (well, sort of), and have found a way to profit from the sun. I can’t even put my finger on why I enjoyed this story more than the others — maybe because it has a touch of realism to it? (Call me cynical, but I could totally see someone profiting from the sun by making people pay for sunlight.) Whatever it is, the story’s quiet thoughtfulness won me over completely. It’s the second story in the book and follows the alien octopi invasion story, so it had a really tough act to follow because that first story is just so much fun (in my opinion, anyway). But I really liked it.
The other two middle stories, None But the Brave and Where Eagles Dare, were well-written, but I didn’t quite connect with them as much. Regardless, they were still good stories and they presented two completely differing views of a Trumpian dystopia. In None But the Brave, special agents are able to extract thoughts from the dead (but only those who commit crimes against the state) and see their last moments. In Where Eagles Dare, a man pretends to be the sheriff and interrogates another man who dislikes the president — until the real sheriff shows up. (I can actually see these stories becoming reality in some way, which is alarming. But… it may just mean that I’m more cynical than I thought. Heh.)
The last story, Big Takeover, seems to be part of a larger universe, so I was a bit lost in terms of the worldbuilding. The world itself was interesting, though, and to me it was a little bit Matrix and a little bit Inception. (There was also a demon. Demons are fun in stories. Um, but not in real-life.) I might have to go track down some of the author’s other work, because the story’s universe is intriguing.
Overall, I loved this. It’s a collection of super fun stories written by a group of good writers. And I actually enjoyed each story (which isn’t always the case for anthologies). Yes, it may be a bit controversial because of the anthology’s theme, but it was really fun to read. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys dystopian anthologies (especially ones rooted in punk rock), but with the caveat that they should probably also be mindful of the underlying theme.
Keep an eye out for interviews with the anthology’s contributors over the next few days!

Welcome to the North, where we will outlive you because… Winter.

Winter in The North, in case you come from a place where all the seasons aren’t properly represented, is about five months of cold and dark. Temperatures below freezing are not uncommon. Snow covering all surfaces for weeks at a time is likely.
Because winter mostly sucks and the most common coping mechanism is to hide from it. As soon as the first weather report of the winter season comes in, everyone rushes to the supermarket to buy canned and other non-perishable goods. Stocking up on other supplies makes sense too. It’s going to be cold and crappy out for a while after the first storm so no one wants to have to leave the house for toilet paper or dog food. Continue reading “Welcome to the North, where we will outlive you because… Winter.”

Tick tock goes the Armageddon clock: the Doomsday Clock moves forward

ICYMI: Yesterday, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock ahead by thirty seconds, and now it’s two minutes to midnight. Granted, it was 2.5 minutes to midnight before they moved the clock, so while it wasn’t a huge jump forward, it also indicates that globally, there are all sorts of situations that continue to deteriorate. (The decision to move the clock to 2.5 minutes to midnight, which happened in 2017, was in itself an unprecedented move since the clock typically only moves in full minute increments. Basically, things…aren’t great, and they keep getting worse.) (This is not the kind of time traveling I wanted to do.)
This is only the second time that the clock has gotten this close to midnight — the first time was in 1953, after the U.S. and the (then) U.S.S.R both conducted nuclear bomb testing. Comforting, right?
This time, the possibility of nuclear war is again a huge factor in the clock’s jump forward. While there hasn’t been bomb testing lately — at least, not of the kind that are dropped from planes, there has been missile testing. And missiles are basically just self-flying bombs, so there’s that. And aside from the actual weapons themselves, there’s also the fact that “hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions…have increased the possibility of nuclear war by accident or miscalculation.”
People have not been playing well in the sandbox lately. Unfortunately, a lot of those people have nuclear weapons. So…yeah.
But the nuclear threat isn’t the only reason the clock is moving forward. The Bulletin also includes the long-term effects of climate change — while increasing temperatures and the accompanying wacky weather and weather-related disasters don’t seem to affect us now, they will in the future. (Though there have been more disasters lately.)
Rapid technological change and emerging technologies is another concern. No, the Bulletin isn’t threatened by technology itself, but in how that technology is used. (So, you know, trying to influence election outcomes and that sort of thing is super not cool.)
And then, of course, there’s the “breakdown in the international order” — there’s concern about the US stepping back from its role as a global leader…and there’s concern about all the finger-pointing and name-calling that’s been going on lately. (See: people in the sandbox.)
The TL;DR version of this is: the Doomsday Clock has jumped forward to 11:58 pm, the closest it’s been to midnight since 1953. We’re inching closer to the apocalypse, and contributing factors are: the global nuclear threat; the continued effects of climate change; technology and the not-cool-use of said technology; and the current WTF nature of international diplomacy.
 

References:

“2018 Doomsday Clock Statement.” The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. January 25, 2018. Accessed January 26, 2018. https://thebulletin.org/2018-doomsday-clock-statement.
 

See also:

Doomsday Clock Statement Press Release: https://thebulletin.org/press-release/it-now-2-minutes-midnight11464
Behind the Design of the Doomsday Clock (The Atlantic): https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/11/doomsday-clock-michael-bierut-design/412936/
What is the Doomsday Clock and why does it matter? (Wired UK): http://www.wired.co.uk/article/what-is-the-doomsday-clock

Marvel's The Punisher – "3 AM" [Recap – S1E1]

Frank Castle, known throughout New York City as “the Punisher” after exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his family, uncovers a larger conspiracy beyond what was done to him and his family.

In case you didn’t know about the Frank ‘The Punisher’ Castle, season one – episode one opens with Frank finishing up his murder spree of the Mexicans (long-range rifle) and the Kitchen Irish (bludgeoning).
After that, it’s six months later and Frank is wearing a beard and beating a wall to death with a sledgehammer. His coworkers think the savant with the sledgehammer is mentally handicapped or something… unfortunately, none of them guessed he might be a well-conditioned psychotic.
New on the job is Donny a young and idealistic construction worker who just wants to be loved. The rest of the crew is mainly made up of school-yard bullies who really hate Frank’s (now going by Pete Castiglione and Fran is supposed to be dead) work ethic because they really love overtime.
Donny tries to buddy up to Pete with stories about his dead parents, including a father who served in the Marines, and an ailing Grandmother who makes great sandwiches. Pete summarily shuts down Donny’s attempt to befriend him.
Emotionally needy, Donny turns to the bullies and follows them around like a lost lamb. After tricking him into buying almost $350 worth of drinks at a local bar they, for some strange reason, invite Donny to pull a heist with them. For even less clear reasons, Donny agrees to join them in robbing an underground card game run by gangsters. As expected, he fucks it up beautifully: BY DROPPING HIS WALLET—OPEN TO HIS DRIVER’S LICENSE.
Meanwhile, Castle can’t sleep because he’s haunted by recurring nightmares of that time his family was murdered in his face. He, like anyone, decides that if he can’t sleep he should go to work at 3 AM and whack at that wall he hates with that hammer he loves.
Super pissed, as expected, the bullies decide Donny needs to die… At the construction site where they all work. Strongly disagreeing with this turn of events, Donny runs for his life and then puts up the saddest of sad fights for his life. Donny gets tossed off the roof into pouring cement.
Frank feels now he should intervene and suggests the bullies turn off the cement machine. They decline.
He bludgeons everyone to death with his hammer, asks Donny about the club they robbed, tosses Donny a rope so he can save his own dumb ass. At the end of the rope is the bag of money with a note written in blood suggesting Donny, “LEAVE TOWN.”
Because no one likes loose ends, Frank goes to the club where the gangsters are planning to follow-up with their assailants, firstly the self-identified Donny Chavez. He kills them all and then twists the main guy’s arm so he shoots himself with his own gun. Ta-da: Murder-suicide!
Jon Bernthal as Pete Castiglione / Frank Castle / Punisher
Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page (from Daredevil)
Ebon Moss-Bachrach as David Lieberman / Micro
Jaime Ray Newman as Sarah Lieberman
Ben Barnes as Billy Russo
Jason R. Moore as Curtis Hoyle (the Black Friend)
Clancy Brown as Ray Schoonover
Amber Rose Revah as Agent Dinah Madani
Michael Nathanson as Jr. Agent Sam Stein
Paul Schulze as William Rawlins
Daniel Webber as Lewis Wilson
Shohreh Aghdashloo as Farah Madani

Back to the Future: The Game – Ep1 "It's About Time"


Back to the Future The Game... If you just spent three movies traveling to the past, present, and future to cultivate the perfect life for yourself and your family, would you risk it all to save a friend? Would you risk not only the existence you know but also your actual existence?

That philosophical brain teaser is how Telltale Games kicks off Back to the Future episode 1, “It’s About Time.”

Six months after the events of Back to the Future Part III, the DeLorean Time Machine mysteriously returns to Hill Valley… Driverless! 

While that sounds super heavy, it’s actually more in line with the tone of the movies. These issues could be deep and disturbing but they’re handled with shrugs, side-eye, and chuckles.
Why am I seven years late for this game? Because I wasn’t really interested until it was free on Xbox as part of Games with Gold. As my grandma use to say, “If it’s free, it’s for me.” Continue reading “Back to the Future: The Game – Ep1 "It's About Time"”

Survival Skills Checklist: First Aid and CPR [Certified CHECK]

A while ago I resolved to learn a number of skills to help me feel more likely to survive and less likely to have nightmares about survival situations. This weekend I followed through with two items on that list: First Aid and CPR.

#8. YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW TO PERFORM CPR  | #30. YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW TO PERFORM BASIC FIRST AID.

I did it! I learned CPR and First Aid. I could save an adult,  child or aAdult and Pediatric First Aid CPR AED Certificaten infant if I needed to. The training was a little pricey but it was really straightforward and easy. it The online portion brokedown the step in such a way that I was forced to learn the information.
 
 
I’d compare the teaching method to an earworm or “The Song that Never Ends.” You have no choice but to learn and retain the information.
Because I am basically an advertiser’s dream audience member, you are safe in my hands. Babies, children, and grown folks can be rescued by me.
I will assess your situation, get some form of consent, ask you a number of questions, direct someone to call 911 and get me a First Aid kit (and an AED if available).
Before this training, I didn’t know what an AED was much less how to use one. It’s an unreasonably expensive portable defibrillator that is hella clutch in case of someone needing shocks. My favorite part is that when it tells you to do CPR it kind of gives you a beat you set your compressions to and tells you how much time has passed. I get tired and confused really easily, especially in stressful situations.

Some CPR and First Aid Highlights

Check. Call. Care.

Check to see if the person is okay and actually needs help.
Call 9-1-1 (by sending someone to call 9-1-1 and return with the First Aid kit and AED.
Care for the person as needed.

Act F.A.S.T. if you think it’s a Stroke

Face: does their face look symmetrical or is it drooping on one side?
Arm: are they experiencing weakness in one arm (ask them to lift both arms in parallel.
Speech: Do they slur a basic statement like, “The sky is blue.”
Time: Call 9-1-1 as soon as you notice ANY of the above signs and tell them when the symptoms first started.

30x2x2

These are CPR Dimensions… Kind of. If you’re alone with someone and need to do CPR, do 30 chest compressions the two rescue breaths for two minutes before putting them in the recovery position and leaving to go get help.
If you’re on the fence or tight on cash, you can always check out the great participant materials from The Red Cross.
For example, this Wilderness and Remote First Aid guide might come in helpful post-apocalypse… or if you’re just over society and bail to go live in the woods.

So, if you come around me, feel free to choke or fall or pass out. I got you. I  know CPR and First Aid and stuff.

Netflix's 'The Punisher'

The new Punisher series picks up a little while after the end of Daredevil season 2.

Frank Castle hunts down the last of the Hell’s Kitchen gang members who thought they escaped his violent cleansing. Satisfied with his work as a well-armed reward for bad behavior being done, Frank redubs himself, Pete Castiglione.
Pete is a very quiet, very focused construction worker. He has to be because every time he lets his mind wander even slightly he’s confronted with the memory of his family being murdered. These flashbacks aren’t annoying in the way that flashbacks typically are. Instead of filling in holes in storytelling or character development, these really build up the character’s development and add dimension to the story. The flashbacks are, in a way, an additional character. They are the Frank the audience never got to meet and the Frank The Punisher never got to be. Continue reading “Netflix's 'The Punisher'”

Being Black in Video Games

Being Black in real life isn’t super easy. Sure you always have company whenever you go shopping, even if you started alone. You’re more likely to have a living will or healthcare proxy (at least you should). Because Black folks are dropping dead like it’s Jim Crow again.
South Park’s new game recently introduced a slider that was labeled “Difficulty” and changed the character’s race. The darker you are the “harder” the difficulty. It’s funny because it’s true.

At least Fractured But Whole lets you be a person of color if you really want to. Or if you just really want to see a person of color as a hero in a video game. Continue reading “Being Black in Video Games”

Free Hellevator Rides to Adorable Boss Battles

It’s no secret that I have an obsession with adorable violence. Therefore, no one will be surprised by my response to Hellevator: Ohmigawd, Yes!

Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of information about Hellevator aside from the overview and download link. However, there is also a handy trailer and a cheeky little write-up.


Dark Souls crushing your soul? Needing a cute hit but craving that spooky-grim vibe? Hellevator has you covered!

Hellevator | Lil Death | Scope it Down Studios
Hellevator | Lil Death | Scope it Down Studios

Hellevator teams you up with the Devil himself in a ‘boss rush’ style game to escape the Circles of Hell. As the only son of the Grim Reaper, you must combine your strength with Lucifer’s and face the denizen of each level in a fast-paced, dark-fantasy boss rush game.
Oh, and an elevator is involved.
Experience the thrill of successive boss battles without the grinding to reach them. Slash, block and dodge your way to freedom, and experience the charming 3D underworld of Hellevator for yourself.

Continue reading “Free Hellevator Rides to Adorable Boss Battles”